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Personnel Files

Don’t assume privacy clause guarantees privacy


Some employers include a privacy clause in their applications and handbooks that tells employees they can opt out of having their names and addresses released to third parties. However, if a worker who is suing for wage-and-hour violations wants to get his hands on employee names and contact information for the purpose of building a class-action case, those privacy clauses can’t stop it.

Immigration compliance issues and changes to track in 2009


Employers have a number of immigration compliance issues to track in 2009, affecting the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9, business travel, no-match letters and employment authorization documentation.

Termination and the right to see records


Q. In New York, does a terminated employee have the right to see his personnel file or other documents?

Legal limbo or law of the land? The ‘new’ no-match rule from DHS


In 2007, a U.S. District Court judge in California had enjoined the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from enforcing new rules that changed the language of the no-match letters issued by the Social Security Administration and the requirements for how employers must respond to the letters. DHS announced that its final no-match rule was taking effect Oct. 28, 2008.

Can we make staff provide emergency contact info?


Q. We’re cleaning up our personnel files and updating emergency contact information. Some employees don’t want to provide their contact information. Is it legal for us to require them to give it to us?

Feds issue new I-9 form: Start using it by Feb. 2


U.S. employers must begin using a revised version of the I-9 Form starting Feb. 2. Employers that use the current edition of the I-9 (dated 06/05/2007) after Feb. 2 may be subject to fines.

Job applications: What can you ask? How long should you retain them?


No federal or state law requires employers to use job applications. But if you do require applicants to fill them out, know the legal do’s and don’ts of what questions to ask. Here’s the topic-by-topic guidance you need, along with relevant records-retention rules.

‘Sunshine Troublemaker’ puts heat on school districts


Encouraged by a victory in Polk County Circuit Court, Lakeland resident and public-records gadfly Joel Chandler submitted public records requests to the state’s 67 school districts demanding the names, addresses, ages and telephone numbers of every person covered by the districts’ health insurance plans.

When in doubt, add a stamp


When Medical Mutual Insurance of Ohio learned that 11 computer disks mailed to state retirement groups in Columbus had not arrived, the insurer contacted the U.S. Postal Service. There was reason for concern: The disks contained personal information on 36,000 Ohio retirees …

College employee data posted on the web


Sinclair Community College in Dayton recently discovered that it had posted the names and Social Security numbers of almost 1,000 employees on a public web site for a year.